Break In

On Friday morning, Mea and I packed ourselves up, and left for work/school like we do every other work/school day.  Locked the doors, scampered out to the car, running around like usual.

Friday night was the Father-Daughter dance at school.  Mea was so excited.  She and her Daddy had color coordinated their outfits, they were going to eat and dance with her friends.  As we pulled in the driveway and walked to the front door she was yammering at me about all of these things.

I stopped at the mail box, pulled the mail out of the box, and opened the screen door.

I found the front door wide open. In a bit of shock I stepped in and noticed our “technology basket” in the middle of the floor tipped on its side and empty.  I looked up and noticed that the sliding door to the back porch was standing open, looked further still and could see where the door to the back porch stood slightly ajar with splintered wood all around where the door had been forced open.

I started to panic, I pulled out my cell and called 911.  They told me to take Mea and go wait in the car.  When my husband came home, he said that he and Mea were still going to the dance, and that we needed to get in and get her ready to go.  I made sure that no one touched anything, I took the first look into my bedroom.

All of the dresser drawers were pulled out and dumped on the floor.  Clothes were everywhere, they had been through my closet and had pulled all of my purses out and searched through them all.

All of my jewelry, with exception of the things I was wearing, and a few pairs of earrings is gone.

My husband’s diamond wedding band, is gone.

All of Mack’s baby jewelry is gone.

All of our watches.

Four of my Coach bags.

Two Coach wallets.

Mea’s DS.

Two camera’s and our video camera.

Two bottles of cologne, and two bottles of brand new perfume.

A box with Mea’s “Nana necklace” in it.

I don’t even know what else.  I am finding odds and ends that are missing here and there with each day that passes.

I am starting to feel like the universe is out to get me.

I am serious.

We have insurance.  I keep trying to tell myself that it is just stuff.

But that stuff was mine.

And so many things had memories attached to them.

I am just sick.

My great great grandmother’s cameo.  It is little.  It is probably of no value what-so-ever, but all of us have worn it pinned to the inside of our wedding dresses as our “something old.”  My guess is that it is in a dumpster somewhere.  Which makes me even sicker.

Now we will have to find something to replace it.

I was pleasantly surprised by a few things on our insurance, but it seems like it’s going to take a lot of work to prove that I owned this stuff for twenty-plus years.

I am just glad we were not home.

I am also pleased to tell you all that we are the proud owners of a security system.  I hate that it is something that we feel that we “have to” have, I also have decided that as soon as it is economically possible that we will be moving.


Chemo Eve

Today is Chemo Eve. 

Tomorrow, my Mom will go have her first of the initial eighteen chemo treatments her oncologist has ordered for her.  Eight hours at his office, once a week for eighteen weeks.  My Dad and I both have to work, but my sister was able to arrange things with her kids so that she could go with her.  None of us want her to be there alone.  Especially not for the first one.

My sister and I have tried very hard to get many things done for her prior to today.  There are a few things that we failed on, but there is only so much time.    We did get her house clean and in order.  We did get the family pictures done, and got some organizing in her house done.  We met with a financial planner.  She applied for social security.  For the most part, even though it is stupid and full of suck, she got her work situation taken care of, at least for now.

We wanted to get some meals made and ready to heat up for her, and this just hasn’t happened as of yet.  My sister was going to try to make a couple of casseroles today so they could at least have them in the freezer and ready to go.  The good thing is that my Dad is a pretty good cook, so he should be able to take care of the kitchen duties so my Mom doesn’t have to.  We had heard a few things about it being much better if she doesn’t prepare her own meals so that the actual cooking doesn’t make her nauseous.  We’ll see.

She is scared and nervous.  Today, just talking about some regular things it made her tear up.

Yesterday, she had to have some labs done, and another CT scan.  We are assuming the CT scan is to show a “before” picture, and that they will do one in the middle of her treatment and at the end to see if it has helped.  I hope that it does.  If it does nothing, and she loses her hair and be sick for no reason she will be pissed.  I will be as well.  Praying for the best.  It’s all we can do.

The various doctor’s offices are kind of being assholes. 

My Mom had purchased “cancer insurance” two months before getting diagnosed.  Her work had to change insurance carriers.  She had to sign up early due to my parents going out-of-town.  Two months.  She had only paid two premiums.  The insurance went into effect on 12/01, she had to be cancer free for 30 days for the waiting period, she was diagnosed 22 days after the 30 days was up.

This is insurance that pays you based on the treatments that you must have.  There is a certain amount per day for a hospital stay, a certain amount for each day of chemo, a certain amount for each radiation treatment, CT scans, PET scans, MRI’s and many, many other tests and treatments.  When she first realized that she had bought this, and that she was covered, it was a sigh of relief.  At least there would be some money coming in.  The problem is getting the doctor’s offices to send the information in to the insurance company.  Since they are not the ones getting paid, they are not as apt to be helpful.  I wish they would realize that if they helped her submit the claims, it would help her to actually pay them. 

If they continue to act out of sorts for submitting the paperwork, I may need to go with her and have a little talk with them.  It is just ridiculous.

 

In none cancer related news, my daughter had two sleepovers this weekend.  Which means that my husband and I had two whole nights alone.  Friday and a Saturday.  Completely crazy.  We seriously almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves.  Then we fixed that problem.

Friday night we ordered food in, and watched a movie with no interruptions.  None.  No drinks of water, no complaining that we aren’t watching a “kid” movie, no turning the sound up or down, just us watching a movie together.  Snuggling on the couch, not opposite couches like what normally happens.  Saturday, we went out for drinks and appetizers just the two of us.  We actually talked to each other.  A very good night, we needed that.

Mea has her school music program on Thursday afternoon.  The music teacher has requested that Mea’s class wear white t-shirts, and jeans.  I wonder if Mea’s music teacher has children.  The program is after lunch.  The kids in her class are most likely going to look completely tragic.  I can only begin to imagine.  Now, I have dressed Mea in white before, I think it looks really cute with her skin, but she is only dressed in white if I am there to hover over her and make sure she doesn’t move or touch anything. 

We shall see.  White clothes combined with Mea constantly “tightening” her poofs, is sure to make for an extremely adorable look.  Pictures will be forthcoming on Friday.

 


Bloggling Ten

In no particular order, the things taking up space in my brains.

  • Valentimes Day dinner at my sister’s house was a success.  The kids had fun, and I think my parents did as well.  Mack brought ice cream cake, and it was super delicious.
  • My husband was not there, as he wasn’t feeling too hot.  I have not mentioned this as of yet on here, in part because I was nervous, and in part because I was full of dread, but my husband had to have a scope done on his stomach (upper GI), he had it done on Wednesday morning.  I was worried.  I have had enough to worry about.  I was fretting.  He had lost weight, he was throwing up a lot.  However, everything came back fine.  Stretched his esophogus a bit, put him on yet another med, he should be good to go.  Thank God. 
  • I needed that to go well.  May have jumped off of one of the two river bridges if it had come back bad.
  • We got to see the photos from our photo shoot.  My sister had gotten the disc.  So good.
  • I need to lose some weight.
  • I need to find some motivation.
  • I need to get my foot to no longer hurt.
  • My Mom was officially put on leave from work.  Monday she went in, and was sent home.  In order for her company to pay their part of her insurance premium, she had to be put on leave.  She will only have insurance for 9 months no matter what.  She is on leave for the next 8 months.  I have a gut feeling that she will not be returning back to work.
  • My cousin, his wife and kids are coming here on Sunday for a visit.  This is both good and bad.
  • None of us has even met their yougest child, and the other two were really little the last time we saw them.  Three kids under five.  Fertile Myrtles are they.
  • My Mom is both excited, and nervous to see them. 
  • My cousin is a Physicians Assistant, which is great at times, and awful at times.  He has been wonderful in interpretting things that not all of us understood, but has also been prone to giving too much information to my Mom and overwhelming her.  Not good.
  • Need to start preparing meals to cover all the time that they will be here.  Lasagne, pizza, I don’t even know what else. 
  • Added to the list of things to discuss with my sister.
  • My sister and I are meeting at my parent’s house to clean tomorrow moring. 
  • I want to fight over who cleans the bathroom or the kitchen just like old times.
  • I am still on a bit of an emotional rollarcoaster, and I don’t feel like it is going to be stopping any time soon. 
  • When my Mom cries, I cry.  Which means that I am still crying a lot.
  • Sometimes over things that I don’t really care about, like her stupid work people, or her selling the cancer car, or piles of my Aunt’s old photos.
  • Often they are not sad tears, they are turning into angry tears now, which pisses me off even more, especially when I am mad.  Angry tears make you feel weak, when you are not being weak. 
  • Tears.  They are no longer therapeutic. 
  • All this crying, it’s starting to make me look old.
  • My sister is going to be gone on two seperate trips in the next month, leaving us and her kids here. 
  • She doesn’t work.
  • One she is going with my BIL on a work trip, another is a “mom trip” she is taking with friends.
  • I am a little jealous.
  • I really can’t afford to do either, and I would love to get away from here, even if it were just for a little while.
  • Sigh.

That is all for this little lengthy bloggling.  I was hoping for a “peacefulish” three day weekend, but I think I will be running around everywhere for the next three days. 

 


Nerve

I have a slightly short fuse these days.  My nerves are frayed, and I am afraid, that is going to get worse before it gets better. 

My Mom has been to see all of her doctors this week.  Dr. Lung said she looked and sounded good, she doesn’t need to go back to see him for a month, unless she starts feeling like that lung is filling back up with fluid.  She had radiation on her hips Monday through Thursday this week, and had her last appointment with Dr. Radiation.  In just a little bit she has an appointment with Dr. Chemo, and they are going to discuss the plan for starting her chemo.

All three doctors have stated that she can go back to work with no restrictions.

Her boss has decided for her that she at most will work part-time, but it is sounding like she is going to put her on a leave of absence and she will not be working at all.  She told my Mom that she can’t risk her getting hurt at work.  She is a receptionist for crying out loud. 

I have already mentioned that my Mom has worked at her work longer than the owner.  This doesn’t change anything, but it obviously shows how loyal she has been to their company. 

There are some things that are just not fair.  This business with her health insurance and PTO is one of them.  She is the owner of the business.  Ultimately all decisions come from her.  It is not like there is an HR department stating that it’s one way or an other.  It is coming from her.  Not all business owners should be business owners.  Not all of them have the management background to actually run a business.  This is the case with my Mom’s employer.  She is great at parts of things that she does, but managing people is not one of those things.

I have been a manager of some sort for the last twenty years.  I know the ins and outs of employee relations, retention, and HR.  I taught her how to put a schedule together.  I taught her the basics of HR, before she originally out-sourced it to another company.  She parted ways with the HR company in October.  So it is entirely in her hands again.  When there has been issues with employees, I am the one she typically contacts to see what she should do.  Employee on maternity leave wanted to come back prior to release from her physician?  She was going to let her come back.  I told her that she shouldn’t do it without the release.  My Mom has three releases from her doctor’s stating that she has no restrictions at all for working and it’s possible that she won’t be allowed to come back to work?

Doesn’t even make sense.

I have tried to talk to my Mom about hiring an attorney.  She doesn’t want to.  She is afraid that if she is allowed to come back to work it will be too awkward, and too uncomfortable to work there.  I can see her point.  Then in many ways, what difference does it make?  It’s not like she has ten more years to work there.

I know that when this all shakes down they will end up having at least three fewer clients than they have now, I am done, my sister is done, and I will make my Dad take their dogs somewhere else.  It will be over my dead body that I give them another hard-earned dollar of mine. 

Time to start looking for a new vet. 

 


The Old Man is Snoring

I was looking forward to this weekend off.  I needed a break, and needed some time to just hang out with my small girl. 

As of right now, Mea knows that my Mom is sick, but I haven’t really said much past this.  I know that I need to.  I have looked at a few books online, and am trying to put myself together so that I can talk to her about everything related to what is going on with Nana.  Any advice, links, titles of books would be appreciated. 

I know that she is struggling with even the idea of sick.

I am sure that she knows that it is much more than just “sick.”  She has seen me cry, she has heard things that I have been trying very hard for her not to hear.  She has been a little funny in the last week.  Slightly more clingy than usual, quick to be mad or angry.  Just not quite her normal little bubbly self. 

My plan was to take her to get manicures on Saturday morning.  We needed to take her braids out, and she needed to take a bath.  Taking the braids out is a bit of an undertaking.  It takes some time.  With the extensions in it took about an hour and a half to take them out.  We started around nine.  My Mom called me with the unexpected insurance news around 10.  I was on the phone with her for an hour or so, trying to think through what else we could do, what I could do to save them some money, etc.

She then started talking about her will.  She needs to have it redone.  She started talking to me about different things that she would like to happen after she is gone.  Having all the girls wear her blue diamond earrings during their weddings.  Something blue, her favorite color.  Different things she wants to give to each of us, or things for us to do for the girls as they grow up.

After talking her down a bit, I was able to get off the phone.  Finished taking out Mea’s hair.  Got us in the shower, dressed, etc. so we could still go get our manicures.  We had a fun time, the lady at the nail salon spoiled Mea and painted flowers on each of her fingers.  So cute.

We ran to Target and grabbed a few things that we needed.  Came home to relax a bit, and then Mack and her boyfriend stopped over to visit for a while.  She had come into town from Yellow State City, to bring my Mom some scarves that she had hand-dyed in her textiles class last year.  My Mom was especially touched by those.

They left and I ordered us a pizza, my husband started doing the dishes.  My housework has slipped in the last week and a half.  The house kind of looks like a bomb went off in it. 

Then, more or less, a bomb did go off in it.

As R was doing the dishes, I heard the toilet gurgle.  Then I heard raining.  The skies were clear.  Poked my head down the basement stairs, and there was water just pouring down from the ceiling. 

He stopped the water, came down to help me mop up the ten or so gallons of water that ended up on our basement floor.  Turns out that a pipe, that all the waste water runs through, (kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower, maybe the toilet) rusted out and busted.

A pipe that is threaded on either side to screw into the other pipes.  The threaded parts are still attached somewhat to the other two pipes.  I am pretty handy with a wrench, screw driver, and hammer, but there are some things that should be left to a professional.  Plumbing is one of them. 

Dishes are still left in the sink.  Washed my hair in a bucket of water this morning.*  Then R said when he was getting ready for work after Mea and I left today that when he flushed the toilet everything backed up into the bathtub.

We are screwed.  Or rather, the pipe is unscrewed.

I am really hoping and praying that this is an easy and cheap fix when the plumber comes today. 

We cannot have anymore rain in our basement.

 

*I am an idiot.  We have a shower in the basement.  I completely forgot about it, until I had been at work for about two hours this morning.  The water in the basement isn’t tied to the broken pipe.  SMH.


Nine Months

My Mom called me this morning.  Last night, her boss called and told her that she will no longer be able to contribute in paying the employer portion of my Mom’s health insurance.  She can still have the insurance for nine months, but she will need to cover all of the cost.

My Mom has had the same employer since I was twelve years old, different owner, but same employer.  This woman has been a part of our life for a very long time.  She is a friend in addition to being my Mom’s boss.  In the end, she is a small business owner.  I know this, my Mom knows this, but doesn’t make this any more fair, nice, or humane.

Stage 4 cancer will make her un-insurable.  No private insurance will touch her.  She is too young for medicare, and although they are not wealthy, my parents will not qualify for her to be on state assistance.  This is absolute fucking bullshit.

She is insanely worried.  Worried about how they are going to pay for the full premium while she still has the insurance for these nine months.  Worried about leaving my Dad destitute.  Worried that debtors will come after him.  Worried about all the how’s there could be.  She was given an estimated 6-24 months, only having insurance for nine of them could drastically change the length of time she has left.

If ever there was a time where I have been thinking of universal healthcare, it has been today.  If we lived in any number of different countries this would not be a worry.  It is grossly unfair.  Without, going on a rant, I will leave it at that.

I am worried for my parents.  I know that when things happen, we will figure things out, and my sister and I would take care of my Dad no matter what happened, but again, I keep thinking this shouldn’t be anything they should be worrying about.  They should be worrying about how to make my Mom comfortable, how to make things work for her, not how they are going to pay for things once they have no medical insurance for her.

Just another thing that is added to this already complicated, and horrible thing going on with this diagnosis.

It makes me sick.